We’ve all been paying attention to politics in America, especially as it has been nearing closer to the November election and there are new black faces that have shown up in politics, ranging from hopeful politicians to the political pundit class. There are Congressional hopefuls like Kimberly Klacik running for Congress in Maryland’s 7th District (Baltimore), Billy Prempeh running for Congress in New Jersey’s 9th District and Joe Collins is running for Congress in California’s 43rd District and the list goes on.
There is a new pundit class of black Americans like Candace Owens, Brandon Tatum, The Hodge Twins, Anthony Brian Logan and the list keeps going. Even Kanye West expressing his desire to run for Presidential office and talking more about politics.
Having black faces in politics is nothing new however what is different is that they are not promoting policies that we would be typically associated with black Americans, they are coming from the right side of the isle and they are proud conservatives, not liberals. In fact, there are more black Republicans running for office than ever before.
What do they have in common?
There are some areas of commonality between them. They are all relatively young, typically early 40’s and younger. They were all former liberal minded Democrats and made the switch to conservatism. Many of them became conservatives either during Obama’s presidency or at the beginning of Trump’s presidency.
What made them make the switch to conservatism?
Most of the prominent black conservative voices that you know about are new black conservatives and they typically give credit to Donald Trump for their push. Others express their disappointment in Barrack Obama’s policies (or lack there of), his promotion of victim-hood and their feeling of unkept promises. Kimberly Klacik, who made a last minute appearance at the RNC convention this year, stated that it wasn’t the RNC that invited her there, it was Donald Trump. Billy Prempeh expressed how it was after attending a Trump Rally in New Jersey that helped him decide to run for office. The embracement by Trump for many of them along with tangable solutions was their motivating factor to look at the other side.
These newcomers to conservatism were also greatly influenced by the old guard of black conservatives like Larry Elder (Radio Personality & Executive Producer of the documentary “Uncle Tom”), Economist Thomas Sowell, Herman Cain, and Dr. Ben Carson.
Why is conservatism appealing to some black Americans?
First let’s clarify that there is a difference between being a Republican and being a conservative. Republican is a political party that combines multiple political philosophies towards government policies, so in essence, you could be a conservative but an Independent. Conservatism is a political and social ideology. Not all conservatives are the same but they typically believe in certain ideals:
- Personal Responsibility – They believe in the power of individualism and how our personal strengths can help us to uplift ourselves, which in return will lift up our neighborhoods.
- Smaller Government – The misconception is that conservatives believe in no government, which is what anarchists believe. Conservatives believe that government should not be the first solution to every social issue, whether it is local, state or federal. The less the government gets involved, the better. In a sense, the smaller the government is, the less power it holds.
- Equality – Yes, I said equality. They believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of results. As long as the government is not interfering with the possibility of prosperity, we all have the ability to prosper, whether we do or not has more to do with ourselves.
- Personal Freedom – The modern conservative is more libertarian minded these days in regards to personal freedom. You can believe and do whatever you want as long as you don’t infringe on their personal freedoms or break the law. Most modern conservatives don’t even care about who you love or what you identify as.
- The right to protect yourself – Guns are a controversial topic but they believe in the 2nd amendment and the right to protect yourself.
- Diversity – They believe in true diversity, which is diversity of thought.
- Respect for Religion – Not every conservative is extremely religious. There are agnostic conservatives believe it or not but in general, they typically have a respect for God and they respect everyone’s right to believe in whatever god they choose.
- Anti-Abortion – They believe that abortion is morally wrong.
Why do I know so much about conservatism?
I believe that many black Americans don’t know what conservatism is. The little that they know comes from the perspective of what liberals think conservatism is, which is like asking a lawyer about what it’s like to be a surgeon. Many black Americans don’t have meaningful conversations with conservatives either. Most black majority cities have nearly zero conservative influence as the policies that are deployed there are heavily liberal minded and revolve around government being the solution to all their problems while they mire in sub-mediocrity for generations.
I was once this person. Entering my mid-twenties, when I attempted to learn more about politics, I was told that the Democrats were my party and that Republicans were racists. I made the classic mistake of not questioning that narrative, so I went with it. This is the thought process that runs through the black community across the country and racism is the mechanism that keeps us voting blue. It doesn’t matter what a Democrat says or does, we continuously vote blue and don’t threaten their dominance over many black communities that are suffering.
Being a small population of people in America, we are afraid to be ostracized or having our proverbial black card removed for descending from the common narrative. That common narrative is that we are oppressed and that liberals have our back. We don’t question why we feel oppressed when we are in the freest nation in the world or why being a victim is appealing. Much like how I suffered from panic attacks and anxiety years ago, I was a victim because I made myself the victim. Conservatism says you have agency to your life outcome even if you are starting from the rock bottom.
If it hasn’t become obvious, I am a conservative. Just to clarify even more, I am a proud conservative. Many of my friends and family don’t know this, so I guess this can be seen as me coming out of the political closet.
I believed in conservative ideals before I knew what being a conservative was. I learned hard work from my mother who raised two children on her own while my father could give a damn. We became homeless and my mother could have sat back and become dependent on government assistance but she did not believe in this. She worked through these hard times so that her offspring could prosper. She went from an LPN to an RN with a Master’s Degree. This is the epitome of the number one conservative value which is personal responsibility.
It was not an easy conversion as it took me a year of removing my cemented notions that conservatives are racists and I started to talk to them. I proceeded to ask them more about their lives. They knew I was black but they didn’t care but in a good way. The problem was that even when I was a liberal, there is this constant reminder that I am black so I must believe in reparations, prison reform or insert any other stereotypical black-minded liberal policy. I’m pretty sure black people care about the strength of the economy, job opportunities, foreign policy and immigration just like everyone else.
Even as a liberal, I despised the political pandering, like Hillary Clinton showing up at a black church with a southern baptist minister twang in her voice or when she appeared on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” saying she carries hot sauce everywhere she goes. The pandering is insulting and demeaning to what it means to be black in America as we are reduced to cliches. Even during the Democrat election process, they will say “white college educated” or “white working class” but they classify us as just “the black vote”. How come we aren’t in sub categories like “The Black College Educated vote”? I think you get the point.
I wholeheartedly believe that conservatism is the starting point to saving many black communities and the minds of black Americans. We need government in general to provide economic opportunities and not hold our hands because all it does is create dependency. We need to stop seeing race as our only method of decision making and accept personal responsibility for our life outcomes. We need to be aware that there are people using our sensitivity to race as a political tool so they can profit off us.
My embrace from conservatives has been utterly amazing. They are some of the best people I’ve ever talked to in my life. They treat me with respect and don’t tokenize me. I am reminded of a conversation I had with a conservative Christian Minister in which he stated: “When I speak to you I didn’t think of you as another race. I think of you as a distant cousin who just looks different than me in some ways. We are both made in the image of God and have ultimately both come from Adam, who, for all I know, looked a lot more like you than me.”
These are words that literally brought tears to my eyes. This is what I’ve always wanted in my life, to be seen as just myself with the power to think for myself and understand that we are all children in the eyes of God. I am no ones monkey or black token. Those that choose to demean me due to my varying opinion only display their insecurity. I am proud to be a conservative and I am proud to be an American.
Why is there a growing conservative movement?
Because we have been doing the same thing for decades and it isn’t working. We are being manipulated by the Democrat political establishment when they pander to us every election season and nothing changes. We have been blindly following failed liberal policies and none of it is working for us. Since the 1960’s, the poverty rate has been stagnant, so why are we attempting to do the same thing on repeat? We have been lied to by the media, Democrat political establishment and even so called black leadership that cares more about publicity than true advocacy.
When we don’t threaten to leave them, then they have no reason to cater to us. The liberal elite are indifferent to the average black person and we need to wake up to this realization. This is not a black or white issue in regards to elitism as many of these black cities are DOMINATED by black people in power but the commonality is that they are of a higher social and political class, so they look down upon the average black American and pity our struggle. We don’t need pity anymore, those days are over. We need greater opportunities and greater expectations. We don’t need the promotion of black criminals in the media as political martyrs for some imaginary black cause and they need to stop conflating black criminality with black normalcy.
We are Americans. We have been here since the beginning and we need to create an awakening of this. “This country wasn’t built for us” means absolutely nothing, we are here now. We don’t need lowered standards, we need higher standards. We need to promote perseverance again, not victim-hood. Even those alive pre-Civil Rights stood up and persevered when there was actual governmental oppression, so why are we victims? We have famous black millionaires telling us that we are in danger or that we are inherently oppressed yet no one sees the irony?
There needs to be a wake up call to this social manipulation and whether you become a conservative or not, you need to see how privileged you are in this world simply because you are an American.